The Million-Copy Bestseller
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Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Number of Pages: 448
Width: 16.3 cm
Height: 24.1 cm
Winner of the Booker Prize Winner of 'Book of the Year' at the British Book Awards A BBC 'Big Jubilee Read' A heart-wrenchingly moving novel set in Glasgow during the Thatcher years, Shuggie Bain tells the story of a boy's doomed attempt to save his proud, alcoholic mother from her addiction. 'An amazingly intimate, compassionate, gripping portrait of addiction, courage and love.' - The judges of the Booker Prize It is 1981. Glasgow is dying and good families must grift to survive. Agnes Bain has always expected more from life, dreaming of greater things. But Agnes is abandoned by her philandering husband, and as she descends deeper into drink, the children try their best to save her, yet one by one they must abandon her to save themselves. It is her son Shuggie who holds out hope the longest. Shuggie is different, he is clearly no' right. But Shuggie believes that if he tries his hardest, he can be normal like the other boys and help his mother escape this hopeless place. Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart lays bare the ruthlessness of poverty, the limits of love, and the hollowness of pride. For fans of A Little Life and Angela's Ashes, it is a heartbreaking novel by a brilliant writer with a powerful and important story to tell. 'A heartbreaking novel' - The Times 'Tender and unsentimental . . . The Billy Elliot-ish character of Shuggie . . . leaps off the page.' - Daily Mail 'Douglas Stuart has written a first novel of rare and lasting beauty.' - Observer
A heartbreaking novel, a book both beautiful and brutal . . . All that grief and sadness and misery has been turned into something tough, tender and beautifully sad. * The Times * Leaves us gutted and marvelling: Life may be short, but it takes forever. * New York Times * I think it's the best first book I've read in many years. -- Karl Ove Knausgard * Guardian * Rarely does a debut novel establish its world with such sure-footedness, and Stuart's prose is lithe, lyrical and full of revelatory descriptive insights. -- Alex Preston * Observer * An astonishing portrait, drawn from life, of a society left to die . . . Shuggie Bain has been longlisted for the Booker Prize. In a just world, it would win. * Daily Telegraph * Shuggie Bain comes from a deep understanding of the relationship between a child and a substance-abusing parent, showing a world rarely portrayed in literary fiction . . . Admirable and important. -- Sarah Moss * Guardian * This is a dysfunctional love story . . . between a boy and his mother . . . what makes his book a worthy contender for the Booker is his portrayal of their bond, together with all its perpetual damage. * Financial Times * Douglas Stuart's startling Glasgow-set debut novel creates a world of poverty and suffering offset by pure, heart-filling, love . . . It's a novel that deserves, and will surely often get, a second reading. -- Allan Massie * Scotsman * Shuggie Bain is a novel that aims for the heart and finds it. -- John Self * The Times * Tender and unsentimental . . . and the Billy Elliot-ish character of Shuggie . . . leaps off the page. * Daily Mail * Beautiful and bleak but with enough warmth and optimism to carry the reader through. -- Graham Norton (via Twitter) A boy's heartbreaking love for his mother . . . as intense and excruciating to read as any novel I have ever held in my hand . . . The book's evocative power arises out of the author's talent for conjuring a place, a time, and the texture of emotion . . . brilliantly written. * Newsday * An outstanding book . . . Magnificently done . . . Wonderful. -- Lee Child * Sunday Post * A debut novel that reads like a masterpiece, Shuggie Bain gives voice to the kind of helpless, hopeless love that children can feel toward broken parents. * Washington Post * Rightly being heralded for its visceral, emotionally nuanced portrayal of working class Scottish life and its blazingly intimate exploration of a mother-son relationship. * LitHub * A formidable story, lyrically told, about intimacy, family, and love. -- 12 Best Books of 2020 So Far * ELLE (US) * You will never forget Shuggie Bain. Scene by scene, this book is a masterpiece. -- Kirkus Reviews starred review Douglas Stuart writes with startling, searing intimacy. I fell hard for these characters; when they have nothing left, they cling maddeningly-irresistibly-to humor, pride and hope * Chia-Chia Lin * Shuggie Bain is an intimate and frighteningly acute exploration of a mother-son relationship and a masterful portrait of alcoholism in Scottish working class life, rendered with old-school lyrical realism . . . I kept being reminded of Joyce's Dubliners. -- Sandra Newman, author of The Heavens There's no way to fake the life experience that forms the bedrock of Douglas Stuart's wonderful Shuggie Bain. No way to fake the talent either. Shuggie will knock you sideways * Richard Russo * A dark shining work. Raw, formidable, bursting with tenderness and frailty. The effect is remarkable, it will make you cry. -- Karl Geary, author of Montpelier Parade Every now and then a novel comes along that feels necessary and inevitable. I'll never forget Shuggie and Agnes or the incredibly detailed Glasgow they inhabit. This is the rare contemporary novel that reads like an instant classic. I'll be thinking and talking about Shuggie Bain - and teaching it - for quite some time. -- Garrard Conley, New York Times-bestselling author of Boy Erased Glasgow, Scotland, in the 1980s is the backdrop for this story of the fraught bond between a young boy and his mother. -- 'The 22 Best Books to Read This Winter' * Vogue (US) * Compulsively readable... As [the novel] beautifully and shockingly illustrates how Shuggie ends up alone, this novel offers a testament to the indomitable human spirit. Very highly recommended -- Library Journal starred review